September 28th, 2011

Listomania: Ten Ways to Avoid a “Man Talk”

Men don’t talk. The concept isn’t in our blood. Our dads learned from their dads who learned from the wolves that raised them that your feelings need to be balled up, burned and buried deeper than Jimmy Hoffa. Sometimes, emotions start to pop up. Nobody wants that, especially your friends. So what do you do? Figure out how to man-up, squash the sissy boy inside and figure out a way to disguise your need for talking about matters of the heart with matters of manliness.

Hatch a Shark Hunting Plan
The only thing more deceptive is actually hunting shark. But be leery of talking about the supposed successful fishing tale afterward, my friend. That is the oldest ploy in the book. Others’ll see through those exaggerations and poppycock as means of catharsis and self-flagellation like the bodybuilder’s mesh shirt. The preparation and action, however, are still both clever guises and well within the bounds of perceived truth. Sure, Houston didn’t close to the dark waters—but to say ocean tamers don’t reside in the Loop is just folly.

Level of Transparency: Galveston’s Water after a Hurricane

Liquor in the Front, Poker in the Back
Bridge? Pinochle? Cribbage? These are all games for the blue-hairs in bonnets. Grab a cigar, a stiff drink and a dark corner and start dealing in your friends? Quarter antes? Like milk, it’s for babies. You’re only playing with Benjamins, baby. Those same hundos that you will use to light your Cuban. Texas Hold’Em is the name of the game and you will play by the house rules: No calling your lady for permission to buy back in.

Level of Transparency: Wait, there was a lot of double entendre in that paragraph…

Deceptive Powers of Darts
Darts are as an effective catalyst to conversation as any tumbler of the dark stuff. You’ve been there, you’re hitting the arrows twenty before last call, chattin’ with some guy who calls himself Red McGinty. In between puffs of his Winston’s, he’s railin’ on about moving hay bails well into his 80’s—and somewhere in the smoke and vague references to corn chowder, he’s throwin’ out wisdom and listening to your childish anecdotes. Understand? You, order up some Carbonites (Wild Turkey and Redbull) and find a dirty table. If the meaning of life comes out before the first bulls-eye, consider yourself lucky.

Level of Transparency: Red’s Cure-all Warm Guinness

Pocket Pool Balls
Every man aspires to be more like Paul Newman. Any dud with a high school geometry class under his belt thinks that he’s got what it takes to sink some balls. None of your friends will blink an eye when you request to rack ‘em up on the green felt. Break ‘em and sink ‘em while skirting topics of love lost. There’s nothing like knocking some balls around with a stick to reinforce you manhood and eschew sissydom. Just make sure you’re on top when the black ball falls.

Level of Transparency: Bulletproof Glass on a Presidential Motorcade

Chicks… Lots of ‘Em
Even if you find yourself one-on-one with a man friend, there’s a surefire way to avoid talking about flower arrangements and quilting. Get some pretty chickadees involved in the conversation. Shit, they don’t even have to be pretty… And, let’s face it, asking for plural ladies is probably too much. As men we know that adding any female to a group of men instills the competitive hunting spirit that we’re all born with. Pretty soon you won’t be worried about why your girlfriend hasn’t called you back or wife won’t let you touch her, you’ll be posturing with your buddy to see if you still got it. You don’t, but that’s not the point.

Level of Transparency: A Shot of Jager

Beer Pong
The game that’s carried over from your college or high school days continues to be an effective tool in shooting the shitt when not shooting the shit. Get me? Luckily, it’s the only college past time that hung on your shoulder as you became the rough gripped ax-handler you are today. Those Emo/Indie phases you went through needn’t tag along. Beer Pong united. It divided. It bulldozed the pathways of diplomacy. For every watery beer shot you sunk, a triumphant fist was raised. With each knock on the air and emotion broke from of its prison.

Level of Transparency: Rows Upon Rows of Orange Dixie Plastic

Express Yourself through the Art of Dance
Wait. What? No. No matter what Dane Cook says you should probably do the opposite no matter what.

Level of Transparency: Superman’s Fortress of Solitude

Get Schmammered
If (and I mean a big fat “IF”) you eventually fall victim to a beleaguered man talk, you better make damn sure that you don’t remember it in the morning. You need whiskey, lots of it. You need beer. You need to mix the two into a foul concoction of forgetfulness. Don’t be meek. Pound them back. The only thing worse than dealing with your own man-feelings is taking on the burden of others’.

Level of Transparency: Plausible Deniablity

Create a “Website About Houston” or I Don’t Know… Whatever
There’s nothing that disguises a chat better than business. The only problem is you have to have a mutual interest in said wheelings and dealings. That’s where The Loop Scoop comes in… I mean… That’s where some unnamed, possibly-already-founded, awesomest website about H-Town mightacould come up. Yeah. Something like that. Anyway, an easy way to sidestep a chat about baby names is to bring up your next step to millionairehood. You just know this next article is going to put you on the map. It’s right there for the taking.

Level of Tranparency: Gazing through a Million Intertubes

Stay Home and Watch Shawshank
It’s a movie from a tough era in tougher place—prison. Yeah, it’s a buddy movie. They happen. The Sting. Lethal Weapon. Papillon. Face-Off. Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion. It’s men not talking while driving the plot of some of the best damn cinema you’ll ever see. Andy Dufresne and Ellis Redding do exchange words—like the item above though, it’s business. The library – work. Tarring the roof – labor. Feelings surface only when Andy is kicked to solitary confinement. You know who he talked to? Himself. Let that be lesson.

Level of Tranparency: Darkness After a Month in the “Hole”

Richard / Paul

— The Loop Scoop


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